How To Build Home Solar Panel Systems

These days, the cost of fuel is increasingly steadily each and every single day. It will not be too long before the cost of powering a home becomes one of the most expensive expenses for any family. As a result, more and more people today are experimenting with building solar panels on their own in order to offset their household’s annual utility bills.

how to build a solar panel

If you are wondering how to build a solar panel, than you are in luck. The process itself is very simple and straight forward, however the skills needed are not necessarily the easiest to learn.

There are many tools that you are going to need in order to build your own solar panels. You will also need the right materials to complete the project.

Your first step when it comes to building a solar panel is determine how many watts your will be needing. You will also need to know what voltage output you will be needing. This is important as it determines the size of the final panel, the number of cells and their arrangement. Each individual cell only produces a finite amount of power and to get the energy you need to power your home, you are going to need hundreds if not thousands of cells.

Now that you have determined the size and layout of your panel, you will need to create a water-tight frame that will have a glass pane on one side and the cells on the other. While many people have been making their frames out of wood, if you are better at working with metal than it is suggested that you build a frame using aluminum angle bar.

Your clear pane of glass must somehow mount snugly to the frame. This has to be a water-tight seal as well. Preventing water from getting to the solar cells is important as both the bus bars and other electrical connections will oxidize and corrode. Over time, this oxidation and corrosion will reduce the efficiency of the panel.

Your cells will then be soldered together on the back side of the pane of glass and attached to the glass. Most people attach the individual cells to the glass using clear silicone sealant which is available at any hardware store. Some people simply apply a bead around the cells while others completely immerse the cells in a thinned down caulk solution.

Professionally manufactured solar panels  usually feature a backing plate as the cells are very fragile. Chances are that you will break or chip a number of cells while you are assembling your very first panel. If you have decided to immerse your cells in a solution of silicone and toluene, then you might want to think about using a plate of aluminum as a backing plate as it will also double as a heat sink.

Making sure that each cell is firmly attached to the panel and that they are all sealed from contact with moisture is important as it prevents corrosion of the terminals. However, keeping the cells cool increases their efficiency. Solar cells heat up when they are in the sun and the hotter they get, the less efficient they are. This is the purpose of using a heat sink on the backside of the panel whenever it is possible.

While there are many great ways of building a solar panel on your own, not everyone has the skills necessary to complete the task from start to finish. For this reason, specially made kits have been developed which makes it easier to assemble your own solar panels. When compared to purchasing a commercially manufactured solar panel, choosing to build one or assemble one on your own is a great way to save even more money.make your own solar kits

Your goal when building a solar panel is that it will last you at least 20 years with the most minimal of maintenance possible. This means that the cells need to be completely sealed from the environment and the glass is as durable as possible. While you may be tempted to use the thinnest pane of glass you can find, keep in mind that thin glass breaks all too easily.

In the end, if you are successful at building your own panels, you can save a bundle. With a commercial panel costing thousands of dollars and a homemade one costing only a few hundred dollars, the savings is clear.

Not to mention the fact that if you build a large enough array that you can afford to buy cells by the case, you can save even more money. Today, one can build their own solar panels for a lot less than a dollar per watt; which has been the all important cost barrier that has prevented solar technology from becoming more common. Home built panels these days cost less than half of a dollar per watt.

How To Build A Solar Panel

The Easy Way To Build Solar Panels

More and more people these days are opting to build a solar panel of their own. Some of them plan on offsetting their family’s annual utility bills while others are simply experimenting with the technology. Regardless of your reasons, it is great step forward to seek more earth friendly means of generating to build a solar panel right

The process of building a solar panel is a simple one, but you will also need to have certain skill sets. However, if you are wondering how to build a solar panel on your own, the following is an outline of the steps and skills needed to complete this project.

Today, it is completely possible for you to purchase a commercially manufactured solar panel for a few thousand dollars. However when you choose to build your own, it will only cost you a couple hundred dollars; and some of your own hard work and time.

Before you can begin construction of your own panel, you will need to decide how many watts you want the panel to produce as well as what power you want it to put out. Your output power will depend upon the electronics that you choose to purchase to invert the direct current to that of AC. Keep in mind that the higher the voltage pout out by the panel, the more efficient the power inversion process will be.

Being as efficient as efficient as possible is very important. Not only should the panel be designed to be as efficient as it possibly can, you must also make sure to purchase the most efficient cells possible. More efficient cells will cost more, but they produce more watts for a given area,

You will need to build a frame for your panel. Most people build theirs using wood. A simple wooden frame is easy to make. If the wood is properly sealed from the elements than it will also last a long time too.

Make sure that the lumber you select is as dry as possible before you start constructing the frame. Keep the bugs out of the wood by mixing Borax in hot water and spraying it on the finished frame before priming and painting it. This causes borate crystals to form on the surface grains of the wood which keeps the bugs from digging in.

Choose a think and durable pane of glass. The glass should not have any form of reflective coating on it. Remember that it has to let the light through, while also protecting the very fragile solar cells from damage. Since glass is not perfectly transparent, you may have to make a choice between thickness versus performance. At the same time, the thicker the glass is, the more the panel will weigh.

The cells will be soldered together in a complex mix of serial and parallel connections in order to create the desired output. In series, the voltage increases but the amperes stay the same. In parallel, the amperes increase, but the volts stay the same. The law of energy conservation tells us though, that the output watts of the panel are the same regardless of the how the cells are soldered together. Therefore, the watts are determined by the actual number of cells in the panel.

After being soldered, the cells will need to be sealed and attached to the glass pane. The best option is to make use of ordinary clear silicone adhesive. Silicone adhesive can be very thick and hard to work with, but it can be thinned down using toluene. In commercially manufactured panels, the cells are soldered together first than incased in silicone before final panel assembly.

Protecting the back side of the panel is also important depending on the expected use. If you only plan on placing the solar panels on your roof and will be careful not to break any cells, then you may not even need a backing.

However, when the backside needs protection, try to use a heat sink material such as a plate of aluminum. Since the efficiency of the panel decreases as the temperature increases, making sure that the cells stay cool is therefore imperative to the panel’s it yourself save thousands

The cells and all the connections need to be sealed from the elements as they will eventually corrode. Corrosion is the number one cause of failure in a solar panel which is why commercially manufactured unit are first sealed before assembly and why they are also so very expensive too.

If you are not up to the task of building a solar panel, you may also choose to use a kit that only requires final assembly.


DIY Solar Panel Kits